Virgin Author Ch 9 Now Go Write Another One
Now Go Write
Sometimes, we think by making to the end of a book we’ve made progress. On the one hand, we have. We’re already anticipating the satisfaction of finishing. Somewhere in the height of our ecstasy, fingers and eyes and brain tingling with mounting pleasure the unspoken notion of YES! WE’RE SO CLOSE! Screams our name. We’ve made it. We’re arriving any moment now. But one book can’t do it. Not unless you’re a one-hit-wonder. And who knows? Perhaps you are. But for the rest of us snowflakes in a blizzard, it’s only the beginning. Only the beginning. At the time of my writing this, it marks a decade or so of my professional writing. Ten years of writing and rewriting. Editing. Trying again. Dreaming, innovating, chasing inspiration. Tasting defeat. Waiting. Doing it all over the place. For me, what I’ve come away with is not so much a feeling of expectancy for impending arrival as a discovery about who I am. I’m a freak. I’m a weirdo. I don’t fit in well in society. I don’t like corporate living. I pity those with dead eyes behind dime-a-dozen Formica counters in box stores. While I understand it’s what some people gotta do, I desperately do not want to be one of the retail hordes. Like you, I dream dreams. I tell stories. Sometimes, I even write them down. Sometimes, I even want to do my best to share them with other people. And maybe, just maybe, with a great deal of luck and planning and timing, they’ll dream dreams too. I named this series Virgin Author because we bring so many unspoken assumptions into writing our first book. I’m still peeling back layers, Shrek-like, in my onionness. We want the first time to be so many things. And while the first time IS so many things and more, one of the things I’m learning is how the first time is not the only time. Writing each book is new. We get to get it on again and again as long as pick up the pen and get busy. Each story we pen is a new story because we are the ones who are telling it. No one does it like you, sweetie. Remember that. Enjoy your first book. Enjoy each part of the glorious, frustrating, rapturous process. Because it’s yours. Because only you can do it so. Because the world will be a far poorer place without your words added to it, even if they are small little things full of L-Y words, Good’s and Really’s. Too often, all we see are the paraded lingerie models of the writing world striding past us on lofty pedestals and bestseller sections. Don’t let the stage lights blind you. Don’t let the makeup beguile you. Don’t let the glamor hoodwink you. Write another one. Pull that pansy-ass Muse back into your writing bed and go to town. You’ve got her number. You know you both like it. Tell stories because it’s what you do. Let the current take you to strange new lands with even stranger people. Write new stories. Tell us the thing you’ve been wanting to tell us all along. We probably really need to hear it, whether we know it or not. Writer Revelations & Literacy
This writer’s revelation revolves around just how much the craft is a part of me. How deeply it's woven into the fabric of my heart and mind. I’ve been toying with stories since I was little. Everything from Let’s Pretend to Legos. (LEGOS) In a world which is increasingly defined by success and agenda, it’s a delicious old-world feeling to find some small modicum of resistance in writing, instead. Is it still scary to try and ply our trade in a time when writing is defined as a market commodity instead of an art form? You bet. Is it a herculean acrobatic effort to tame that mangled Gordian knot of anxiety in the pits of our stomachs when it comes to reconciling passion with bills?
Of course. I think the question is, will you still write anyway? Human beings are wonderfully resourceful creatures. We’re adaptable, industrious, and stubborn. If anyone is going to further the art and craft of storytelling, it’s us. You. Me. That other one friend. Humble, quiet little things with woefully small Twitter followings. People who aren’t good enough. People who are by and large ignored. Those who dream. Those who practice and write until their heads and hands and hearts hurt from the effort. The flip side to all this whimsical writing Kamasutra is literacy. It’s not just a dirty word. It’s not just another government benchmark. People who can read are empowered in a way people who can’t aren’t. People who can and do think are those who can read widely and deeply. It’s literate people who will move and shake the world. It’s literate people who ask pesky questions that even the strongest Powers can’t ever quite seem to shake. It’s the literate ones who look up at the stars and imagine the sorts of stories which shape the minds who take us there. To say we writers have a high calling is a poor understatement. Stories shape culture. What can or can’t happen defines the possible and the impossible. Get what I’m saying?